Are you looking to improve your LinkedIn presence?
LinkedIn is the largest professional network with over 500 million users across the world. Since its inception in 2003, it has shifted its focus from job hunting to personal branding, online networking, and content sharing.
In fact, more than one third (35%) of professionals said they had found new business opportunities through networking on LinkedIn.
In this article, you'll learn how to optimise your LinkedIn Profile and Company Page so you can make the most of this fast-growing professional network:
Also, feel free to utilise our LinkedIn Audit Checklist to expedite the analysis of your profiles and pages.
Optimising your LinkedIn profile
A long time ago, before social media existed, we were drilled into making sure we looked the part. I can still hear the words ringing in my head: brush your teeth, comb your hair, fasten your top button.
Why? Because first impressions count.
Nowadays, with the advent of social media, LinkedIn lets you make that first impression. It's your living, online business card. It's your way to introduce yourself and make professional connections.
So how do you make an impression on LinkedIn? Let's take a look at the key sections.
Add a profile photo and background image
Your photo sets the scene for the rest of your profile. As people scroll through their LinkedIn feed your picture and name (in bold) are prominent.
- Members with a profile photo can get up to 14 times more profile views than members without.
It's easy enough to take a decent photo with your smartphone. So, drop the holiday snap and get a professional-looking headshot. And whatever you do, don't use the default 'empty head' image.
Not everyone uses a cover photo or background image, but this is an opportunity for you to add something unique that sets you apart.
Here's how Neil Patel has created his profile with a professional headshot and background image featuring the promotion of what his business does:
Craft your headline
By default, your headline will be your current job title. But you can make it better.
You have 120 characters to get your message across. Your goal is to get people intrigued so that they want to read more about you.
Some people like to use the bold statement format: I help [insert your ideal client or industry] to [what do you do for them]. For example, Tor Magne Refsland's headline is:
I help healthy businesses to get on 1st page of Google. Multi-award winning blogger amd SEO strategist.
Other people use keywords and phrases that are broken up with separators. For example, Neal Schaffer's headline is:
Fractional CMO | Digital / Social Media / Content / Influencer Marketing Leader Helping Organizations to Rise Above the Noise and Grow Their Business | Author, Speaker, Consultant & University Educator | Marketing is FUN.
Take a look at how Neal has incorporated emojis into his name to visually highlight that he's a speaker.
Perfect your summary
If your headline works, then people will want to continue reading your summary.
This is your chance to tell your story. As Melonie Dodaro says:
The only thing that differentiates you from your competitors is your story...What is your purpose? What drives you? Why do you do what you do?
You don't want your summary to be a resume. But, you do want to entice people to read more.
Here are four tips to help you perfect your summary:
- Write in the first person -Writing in the 3rd person doesn't work unless you're writing a biography. LinkedIn is a social network; you'll have more success engaging with people when you write in the 1st person. As Andy Foote from LinkedInsights wrote:
Writing a summary about yourself in the 3rd person is a theatrical gimmick which never worked. It doesn’t make you more polished; it makes you seem aloof, out of touch and stuffy.
- Lead with the need -The first two lines of your summary show beneath your headline before the 'See more' link.
Beth Granger advises that you 'lead with the need' so that your readers have a reason to click for more information:
Lead with the need, as in all writing online.
- Format your text - You have 2,000 characters in the summary section to tell your story, but don't feel compelled to use them all.
Format your text so that it's easy for people to read. Try using short paragraphs and bulleted lists, so it's clear what you do and who you do it for.
Look how Steve Phillip breaks his text into clearly defined sections:
- Add media - It's always worthwhile adding visual media to capture people's attention. At the end of the summary section there's an option to add or link to external documents, photos, sites, videos, and presentations:
Ask for recommendations and endorsements
Recommendations and endorsements will help to boost your profile. It's one thing to write about yourself, but recommendations from people who know you and have worked with you enhance your credibility.
The best time to ask for a recommendation is when a client or a colleague has just thanked you for your excellent work. Ask them if they could take a minute to complete a LinkedIn recommendation and then add it to your profile.
There's no limit to how many recommendations or endorsements you can display on your profile. Your last two recommendations will always be visible with the option for people to view more. But with endorsements, you can choose which three are visible.
Post regular content
As well as optimising your LinkedIn profile, you'll want to consider posting regular content. When you write articles or post status updates, you'll gain more exposure to your existing connections plus their connections.
It's an excellent opportunity to highlight your skills and knowledge, and at the same time provide helpful tips and insights to your audience.
Don't forget to engage with other people's content, too. LinkedIn is a great platform to build relationships with new connections. Start by following and commenting on people's content, so it's easier to send an invitation to connect afterward.
Your articles and activity (both posts and comments) show in your profile, so when a potential new connection comes along they can see how you engage with other people:
Two of the best LinkedIn profiles
You've already seen some snippets of profiles, but two more LinkedIn profiles follow the best practices above.
John Espirian is a relentlessly helpful technical copywriter and editor.
Not only are his profile and background image perfectly branded, but he has also included the profile introduction video. Take a look at his profile to see how he formats his summary section after leading with the need.
John also shares regular content, including video, with helpful technical tips on using LinkedIn, writing, editing, and proofreading - everything that positions him as an expert while offering help and advice to his audience.
Amanda Webb is a Social Media Trainer, Speaker and Consultant, working with small businesses to develop digital marketing strategies.
Her profile summary uses the technique of listing keywords of exactly what she does, while her profile video intro, profile picture, and most of all, the background picture support it!
Her header also includes a link to the latest free (gated) resource.
Amanda also shares regular content, using video and text and commenting on other people's posts to keep her connections informed.
Quick breakdown of how to optimise your LinkedIn profile
Here's a quick recap of how to optimise your LinkedIn Profile:
- Include a professional headshot and branded cover photo
- Include an introduction video to explain what your brand's about
- Craft a a keyword optimised headline that targets and captures the attention of your audience
- Perfect your summary, so it's easy to read
- Add relevant hashtags in the "Talks about" sections
- Add recommendations and endorsements for social proof
- Post regular, relevant content
Optimising your LinkedIn Company Page
As well as Profiles for individuals, LinkedIn also has Company Pages where you can grow your company's presence. It's free to create a Company Page, and in many respects it's the same as creating a Profile.
Let's take a look at the key areas you should focus on.
Use keywords in your company description
First, add your company's logo and a cover photo, and then write a description of your business.
Follow Sendible on LinkedIn
The About section is the perfect place to optimize your company page for search queries inside and outside of LinkedIn. For example, Sendible uses similar keywords on its LinkedIn Company Page and its homepage meta description:
LinkedIn offers three suggestions to optimise your Company Page for search:
- Insert keywords - add (but don't stuff) keywords in your description and specialties.
- Link to your Company Page - add links/icons/buttons from your website to your company page.
- Share relevant content - when you publish updates on your Company Page they also appear on your public page, allowing your content to be indexed by Google.
Link your Showcase Pages
If your business has multiple entities under one name, then you can take advantage of the LinkedIn Showcase Pages. For example, L'Oréal has many popular brands like Lancôme, Yves Saint Laurent, and Maybelline:
L'Oréal creates separate Showcase Pages for each of these brands that are linked back to the main company page:
Create Product Pages
Every single day, a vast number of potential buyers scour LinkedIn in search of products similar to yours. By utilising LinkedIn Product Pages, you can effectively connect your products with the largest professional community in the world.
Check out Sendible's Product Page.
Establishing your product's presence:
- Product visuals: Incorporate up to 5 captivating images or videos that effectively demonstrate the unique value propositions, features, and functionalities of your product.
- Spotlight satisfied customers: Showcase up to 9 esteemed customers under your dedicated product section and prominently feature them in your page header.
Post content regurarly
According to LinkedIn, the best way to build your company presence is to post content regularly:
Posting daily company updates is the most effective way to attract followers to your LinkedIn Company Page.
Following a regular publishing schedule, your audience can tune in daily for your updates. LinkedIn's statistics show:
On average, companies that post 20 times per month reach at least 60 percent of their audience.
Try to balance your content so you have a blend of company updates, thought leadership, and industry trends. Also, try using different media types like photos, videos, and Slideshare presentations to engage your audience.
3 Brilliant LinkedIn Company Pages
Hays is the leading recruitment company on LinkedIn.
Hays positions itself as an industry thought leader by sharing content for recruiters, job seekers, and offering general career advice to its followers. Each day they post two pieces of content (one for each audience segment) from their blog. Let's take a look at some examples.
Advice for job seekers
HP is the Information and Technology giant from Palo Alto with over 2.5m LinkedIn followers.
They use Product Pages to highlight the different divisions within their global group:
But they also have a section on Life at HP that promotes company culture:
HP posts a broad range of content on LinkedIn that includes Innovation, Community, Diversity as well as Company news and updates. They use different types of content, currently with a heavy focus on video marketing, but also images to engage their audience.
It's clear that HP's LinkedIn content strategy is centered around supporting important causes, such as diversity, inclusivity, human rights, and climate change. Here's one of the latest examples from their LinkedIn company page:
A great example of a cause marketing campaign that also promotes their business.
One might wonder why they're not promoting their brand? Well, that's just it! The audience doesn't want to hear about your brand, they want to hear how your brand is using it's influence to help the world around them. This directly translates to a boost in trust, stronger relationships, and finally business growth.
L’Oréal is the world leader in beauty and cosmetics, and is present in 150 countries across five continents.
As mentioned earlier, L’Oréal use the Showcase Pages to highlight their extensive range of brands. As far as content is concerned, they have a lovely balance. They include a lot of behind the scene content to create a meaningful connection with their followers, they're very vocal about the numerous causes they support, and they regularly support their employees. So - once again, it's all about what the business does and its culture. Not the product.
Quick breakdown of how to optimise your LinkedIn Company Page
Here's a quick recap of how to optimise your LinkedIn Company Page:
- Add keywords in your company description
- Make use of related Product Pages
- Post regular content that promotes your brand's values
- Include various content formats (polls, videos, images)
Wrapping it Up
LinkedIn is a fantastic platform for professionals to connect and engage with their target audience. With new features like Product Pages, you can showcase your services in a way that resonates with your audience without coming across as pushy.
Instead of focusing solely on self-promotion, it's important to follow the best practices mentioned earlier. Utilise keywords, hashtags, and the about sections to provide a comprehensive understanding of who you are and what you offer. However, the key to a successful content strategy lies in promoting the values your business stands for, the causes you support, and how your brand goes above and beyond to genuinely help your customers.